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Fear Factor - Episode 100, Part 9 Summary

'Seven Seconds' By Estee
Original Airdate: June 13, 2006

Due to the controversial nature of this episode, the usual nature of the summary has been altered. While the events that lead up to the problem time have been treated with the usual lack of regard for the genre, contestants, and laws of physics, along with a large amount of rough paraphrase in the early portions, the actual disruption -- what there is of it -- has been reported as accurately as possible. It's up to each reader and viewer to interpret what happened during that scene, and reach their own conclusion regarding the moments we weren't shown. Reader discretion is advised.

{And we're back, at least for a little while. As y'all probably know by now, the series has been canceled, and the much-pushed-back episodes now (finally) airing represent the last of what Fear Factor will ever offer. And for the record, this is not my fault. Sure, I summarized the first Reality Stars non-special, but that was just on a lark. Also because Voldemort showed up and I will get that last Horcrux if it takes every breath in her undead body. But did I somehow get the series canceled? No. That was NBC. They're the ones who kept pre-empting it, moving episodes in leaps of months, and making sure no one remembered why we were showing up by the time we finally staggered into what we thought was the Treasure Hunters preview room and were pleasantly shocked by the opening credits. I didn't do anything to Fear Factor. Like pretty much everybody, I didn't even know it was still on the air -- }

{-- if only for just a bit longer.}

{We're in the final days. Gather 'round and sit with me. We'll listen to a few stories by the light of a burning car engine, and we'll tell old tales about a show that had a dream. It wanted to make people throw up on national television. It wanted to make the airwaves reverberate with the sounds of screams. It saw a day where people would turn to each other on their couches and say 'I could do that', and all of them would be lying. It may have never made us face our fears -- but it showed us how much fun watching others failing to do so could be. We'll roast animal genitalia on a stick as we talk about superworms, D-list celebrities, mandatory helicopters, Jackson & Monica, and flags waving cheerily in the breeze from four hundred feet up, on a track suspended from a crane.}

{These are the precious hours, the last chance to be with an old friend before he slips away into the final credits that must one day claim nearly all, and in that priceless time, we gather to be with him. We watch one more time, and we remember, and we dream...}

{...and we mock.}

{But this time, at least for the series itself, we're mostly doing it out of love.}

{Come close now and stare into the flames, where familiar shapes are starting to form. Look into the fire and see what was, what will never be again. Emboss the last moments into memory.}

{Just a few more times, here now for the first of three, and then life will only exist in the past, a country we can only visit for a little while and never truly exist in.}

{Thrice more into the breach -- and then goodbye.}

Joe: 'The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, any time. Unless you're the casting director for Last Comic Standing, in which case, we'll let you do the first one without benefit of car. Do I look tired? I think I look tired. I've never looked so tired on camera in my television existence. You'd swear something was sucking the life right out of me. Are we doing something today that I should be aware of?' *glances off-screen, looking to the left* *expression collapses* 'Oh, God.'

{Roll opening credits.}

{We are in a ancient racing stadium where the wrecks of cars burn freely around us , sending smoke into the heavily-overcast late afternoon sky, and we are waiting to find out what -- or rather, who -- has come to suck all the life out of our beloved Joe? Well, as you might recall, the original Reality Stars had six contestants: Nikki, Ethan, Jenna M, Ryan, Reichen, and Voldy. It was a two-hour show with a standard top prize ($50,000) and two secondary prizes given out during the stunts. Joe lived through this. He even lived through extended bodily contact (i.e: any) with Voldemort, and it takes a tough man to stay within six feet without collapsing. But given that both the series and Joe are on their last legs anyway, the producers have decided to ramp up the pain factor: ten contestants, competing in teams of two over three hours (and three shows), with a top prize of $150,000 (booooo!) and lots of secondary prizes given out along the way. Bringing the noise, the funk, and the warning flashes that signal the start of a serious migraine are:}

{Jon & Twila: Survivor (7 and 9, respectively). Team Fibbers, consisting of Liar #1 and Liar #16b. One told a tiny little fib about his grandmother and has been riding it to a lack of fame, a lack of respect, and an excess of opportunities to defecate on people while they're sleeping, all of which he's been doing for the last few years with no interruption, especially on the defecation thing. (He has endurance for two activities in his life, and that's the first one.) The other told an equally minor distortion based in swearing on her offspring, and wound up being vilified for it by a jury who was just looking for an excuse to give the money to Chris anyway, although to her credit, this one hasn't been thrown off her job because she somehow mysteriously took sick on twenty dates that just happened to coincide with public speaking engagements. Twila makes roads for money. Jon gets people to beat him up for money. Jon makes more money than Twila. ($10,000 an hour. I asked. Donations will be cheerfully accepted and I will paste him one just for you.) Definitely not the physical powerhouse team: while Twila has strength and endurance, her dexterity isn't great, her balance is occasionally questionable, and she comes with a built-in handicap: Jon. Jon is weak. Actually, that's a false statement, because Jon is beyond mere weakness. Jon may be the least physically capable specimen to ever appear on this show, and yes, that includes Average Joe's David 'MegaDork' Daskal, how low can you go? Ninety-five percent of Jon's energy is dedicated to running his mouth (endurance activity #2), leaving four percent for his bowels, one percent for his sex drive, and pretty much nothing for everything else. (Yes, I realize I just made you picture Jon's sex drive. This may wind up being the least of my crimes over the next three weeks. Say, is fear going to be a factor for you?) On the other hand, Jon makes up for in trash talk what Twila lacks in crucial self-awareness, so they're probably not automatically doomed. They could reach second place while winning no prizes and going out with maximum suffering and not a single penny to their names. What can I say? Just this once, I'm going to be all about the best-case scenario.}

{Jonathan & Victoria: Amazing Race 6. Also known as Bluehair & Victim, although Jonathan's hair is back to its basic dyed black and Victoria is -- is -- well, stay tuned. This is the couple that went around the world on ego (Jonathan), sound propulsion (Jonathan), emotional abuse (mutual, but more heavily towards Jonathan), potential-but-never-confirmed physical abuse (guess: everyone else did) and, because it has to be mentioned in the interests of fairness, a very occasional appreciation of the things around them, especially when they were small enough to be thrown at each other. This might even explain why they like children so much. Jonathan wants to be a Hollywood producer in the classic powermonger, 'I rule the immediate universe, or at least the casting couch' style. Victoria would probably like to have the huge alimony settlement that would come along with it. They yell. They argue. They appear on Dr. Phil's show, which may be their greatest crime of all, because if no one appeared on Dr. Phil's show, Dr. Phil would cease to exist, and I would be happy. Dr. Phil still exists. I am not happy. I blame Jonathan & Victoria. A lot. They have some scant amount of skill, but they're not the most focused of couples and as such, will be in trouble the instant they find something significant to argue about. Strategy. Tactics. The fact that they're both still breathing. This has always been Team Self-Destruct, and all we need is for someone to come along and push the button. Assuming it's available: they usually have their fingers embedded up to the second joint.}

{Now, when we're in a paraphrase-heavy summary, contestants are quoted in their own words if those words are either revealing to the situation, amusing, or provide just enough rope for them to hang themselves. As such:}

Jonathan (exact quote): 'Being on Fear Factor for us is about redemption. Redemption because of what the public perceives us to be. They think that we're weak because we bicker. But in actuality, we're a very strong couple. Strong mentality and strong physically.'

{You can decide which reason was being used there.}

{Craig & Tana: Apprentice 3. They're friends! (That means they spent extended time together in a foxhole waiting for death to rain down on them from above. And you thought the Boardroom wasn't good for anything.) They're street-smart! (That means they know which street they live on.) These two former firing victims went to the Final Four together, where Craig was undone by his lack of ability to form a coherent sentence and Tana single-handedly cost New York City the 2012 Olympic Games, for which I and my driving time would personally like to thank her. Sixteen hours to crawl up the Upper West Side? No, thank you. We're better off. As such, it might be possible for the occasional moment of not-hate towards Team Hairnet to creep in, except for the fact that I had to summarize two episodes of the toxic waste dump that was that season, I was around for certain moments that shall live in infamy, no more than half of which involved a (censored) cucumber, and someone has to take the pain. Since I'm already in enough proto-agony just through summarizing this thing, I'm going to pass some of it on. Remember, these are people who are used to either riding coattails, blaming everyone around them in an attempt to deflect attention from themselves, or laying claim to the greatest act of creativity in the history of the universe because -- wait for it -- the brochure was round. Oooh, round. Round like Tana's wide, surprised eyes when she didn't get hired. Round like Craig's sentence structure diagrams. Round like the top of a heart, not a star! Somewhere on the West Coast, Donald is watching this episode, and he's laughing at you, do you hear me? Laughing! But on the other hand, if they win, they get about a third of their salary under him each with only about a seventeenth of the torture time, which might prove they've learned something after all...}

{Mikethemiz & Trishelle: Road Rules Tough Enough Celebrity Poker Showdown Battle Of The Network Reality Stars Every (Censored) Reality Series Ever Filmed The Real World. Let's let them explain things in confessional-tell, shall we?}

Trishelle: 'I'm here to test my limits.'
Mikethemiz: 'I'm here because I want the money.'
Trishelle: 'You're here because if you don't appear on television for two days, you start to wither and die.'
Mikethemiz: 'Well, so do you.'
Trishelle: 'You gave me that disease!'
Mikethemiz: 'Oh, please. You're Patient Zero. Do you have any idea how many people you've infected over the years?'
Trishelle: 'I only keep count of the number I stalk. Which is 'one'.'
Mikethemiz: 'You can count to one?'
Trishelle: 'I'm never sleeping with you again!'
Mikethemiz: 'Too bad. I had a VH1 show all lined up for us if you did.'
Trishelle: 'Take me now.'

{Or, in the short version: they appeared on an MTV reality show, and now their entire existence centers around appearing on other reality shows. Forever. They have mastered the art of series-jumping like no one else in the genre's history, and as such, Team Patron Saints know what it takes to stick around. And around, and around, and around... These are very probably our ultimate winners, especially since Mikethemiz is built like the side of a barn (although as long-time viewers know, strength and mass can work against you here) and Trishelle is -- is -- going to wear a bikini. Again. But they can't stay here too long, because they have to start filming I Married A World-Class DAW next month. We really need to name a posting level after these two. We'll make it a special honor after they're dead. (They can die, right...?)}

{Anthony & Carmen: American Idol. As such, I don't really know who they are. And I don't care, either. I don't watch AI: it's one of my more redeeming qualities, along with my love of wrecking the egos of randomly-chosen victims as I pass them on the street. All I know is that they didn't win, or they wouldn't be here. I also know that Carmen is somewhat conventionally attractive in the small blonde sort of way, and Anthony is just about the same, except that he's male and apparently won't need to shave for another six years. So to me, this is Team Blonde and nothing more -- but they're also a reminder of what Nikki proved last year and what both admit to in c-t for this round: when you've had your heart torn out and tossed into lava by Simon Cowell, being on Fear Factor feels like a cool breeze on a hot day. They cannot be stressed. They cannot be bothered. They can probably find about sixteen excuses each to sing during the show, but half of those will come out as screams and just about all of them will be edited out. This team may lie in the weeds and challenge for first place when no one ever saw them coming. But you'll hear them. Oh, will you ever hear them. No one else in America will hear them, much less vote for them, but you? You're doomed. Of course, you knew that going in, which makes you the most self-aware person here. Maybe you should try out for a reality show. How about Big Brother All-Stars? I hear B.B.A.Stards is looking for a human being... somewhere...}

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